Do not censor theatre's mirror : LETTERS

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The Independent Online
From Mr David Edgar Sir: One of the disquieting aspects of the brouhaha surrounding Sarah Kane's Blasted at the Royal Court ("A very angry young woman", 23 January) is the notion that this is a somehow bad time to be pushing the boundaries of theatrical taste.

Such an argument seems to me historically dubious, both in the general ("Do nothing to provoke the Germans") and in the particular (theatrical censorship was actually abolished following the production of a work of genius- Edward Bond's Saved - which included a baby being smeared in excrement and then stoned to death in its pram.

It also seems to me to misread the times. Inspired (I think) by Tony Kushner's Angels in America, serious British theatre is regaining a self-confidence about its capacity to address the great contemporary issues in a bold and imaginative way. As television drama succumbs to the ever-tightening stranglehold of genre - and the great British novel disappears gently into a self-referential black hole - the theatre is once again holding the mirror up to the way we live now. It should not censor what it sees there.

Yours faithfully, DAVID EDGAR Department of Drama and Theatre Arts University of Birmingham Birmingham 23 January